You know, it’s almost New Years and just like every single year since the beginning of time, people are making plans to change. To do things differently.
Yep. Me too.
But here is the deal… Something has been sitting on me the last day or so, and really for months if I’m being honest, and so I figured I’d put it out there so you all can weigh in and maybe (hopefully) discover a little bit more of your perspective on this idea…
The idea is this: Why are we so eager to change? And I don’t mean why would we want to, but I mean what is the WHY behind our desire to change our lives, health, financial situation, marriage, relationships… whatever it would be. Are we checking our motivation? Or are we just bandwagon jumping because we feel like we should?
Come along with me for a minute here…
I was reading today that about 40% of Americans set and proclaim New Year Resolutions and yet, only 8% actually achieve them! What is that about? I mean, I’m definitely NOT usually in the 8%, I’ll be honest, but it’s one of my New Years Resolutions to make the cut this year! (Do you see what I’m doing there?)
So what is happening, Readers? Are we just being unrealistic with our goals? Are we, on the whole, noncommittal? Are we just lazy? Are we quitters?
I don’t know about you, but the reason I don’t stick to things is because 1) I don’t always have a firm reason (something that truly anchors me to this goal- I refer to it as a ‘why’) to follow through, and 2) I don’t make a plan to be successful. I just have the idea. I just set the goal.
Well, a goal without a plan is just a wish. And haven’t you heard that you can wish in one hand and take a poo in the other and you’ll see which one fills up first?
I don’t want to be left with a fist full of poo at the end of 2018, do you?
So in order to move forward, let me first take you back…
I have a pretty random and complex medical history. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but if it’s weird and random, it’s probably happened to me. Just since November, I’ve had two procedures. I joke that I really deserve a punch card at this point. I had to have a procedure done on my wrist a few weeks ago because out of the clear, blue sky, fluid started draining into the wrong place, and a cyst and a lump developed where a cyst and a lump need not be. And just before that, I had ablation done on my uterus, which required full sedation in an OR and scopes and ultrasounds, all because once a month my body tried to bleed out. Yes, I know they call it a period, but in my case, they called it an exclamation point!
When I was 8 or 9, I had parasites. Yea, gross, I know. But I did. For several months (and don’t quote my 8 or 9 year old memory on time passing), I complained of a stomach ache. I remember my parents and teachers even being concerned that I was being bullied or suffered from anxiety, because it seemed that more days than not, I was in the office asking to be picked up to go home. I didn’t feel good.
But I really didn’t!
Finally, after a late night trip to the ER and several needle pokes, I was diagnosed with having parasites. Who knows how I got them, or how long I had them, but they were there and I had to poop into a plastic bag several times before it was all said and done. I had two pretty aggressive rounds of antibiotics (months apart if I’m remembering right, because the first round didn’t exactly get it all), and at the end of it, I was left with a compromised digestive system and a weakened pelvic floor.
By my early 20’s I had to have a pretty extensive and invasive abdominal surgery to repair damage to my colon. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I don’t want to run the risk of you googling things and having nightmares, but let’s just say my body had been rocked by years of constipation, bad eating habits, lack or vital nutrients and good bacteria, and a myriad of other things.
After I had my second child, I had to consult with a surgeon AGAIN because I was concerned about what two pregnancies had done to my body. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to continue having kids. And honestly, after three C-sections, like it or not, I have to be done. It’s just too dangerous to continue down that road. And although I do feel like my family is complete for now, and I am open to the idea of adoption in the future, it’s hard to have my health calling the shots. It’s hard to feel like my body get’s a vote, when my mind and my heart might be pulled in a different direction.
Where am I going with all of this?
This past year, I’ve been struggling with feeling bad. I don’t eat the way I should. Let’s just say that. I have low energy. I feel out of whack. I struggle with autoimmune responses like psoriasis and canker sores (I have a canker sore 1-2 times a month). And if you want the full disclosure (like you have a way to opt out at this point), I am either not going to the bathroom enough, or I can’t get off the toilet. Once this summer, Thomas pulled our trailer behind us on a quick trip down to Alabama to get chickens because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to a bathroom should I need one. We literally had to BYOB.
And on top of all that (and likely because of all that) the anxiety that I thought I had conquered years ago, was rearing it’s ugly head again. My anxiety started in my mid 20’s suddenly, and I was heavily medicated for it for over a year before I started stage one of my health journey. My anxiety is strange. It comes on quick, and it shows up in the form of heart palpitations and/or dizzy spells or feelings of vertigo. It’s terrible.
When I was first introduced to Arbonne, I was really in the middle of all of this. I was JUST about to have my abdominal surgery, and I was on drugs for acne (2-3 drugs/ topical and oral), insomnia (1 drug- suffered since college), and anxiety/depression (2 drugs daily, one for anxiety attacks).
I was 25 at the time.
Would you believe me if I told you that the ONLY reason I started Arbonne’s 30 days to healthy living program back then was because I wanted to lose weight?
Readers, I had a MILLION reasons why I needed to get healthy, make a change, do better, refocus, reevaluate.
I chose the wrong reason.
And although I did lose weight, I didn’t stick to the HEALTH journey, I just stuck to the WEIGHT LOSS part. What do I mean by that? I used our program as a tool. When I needed to drop a few pounds, or lose the baby weight over the years, I used the tool well. I was focused and I lost weight. But I didn’t stay the course. That’s not to say the weight came back. I was queen of the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I ate whatever I wanted and 20% of the time, I went UBER strict on the program to realign myself and get back in gear. (I hope you realize that the 80/20 rule actually works the exact opposite way- 80% of the time you’re supposed to be doing all the right things).
What’s also interesting about all this is through our program- as poorly as I sometimes followed it over the years- I was able to learn and understand my body. I discovered that dairy (mainly milk, and ice cream) and hormone ridden meats were the cause of my acne. Go figure!! So I was able to get those out of my diet and kick the acne drugs. That was a bonus!
I also learned that all the refined sugar that was hidden in my prepared foods, as well as coffee and all the sugar in those drinks I enjoyed daily, were keeping my head spinning all night long! So I kicked the sugar (for the most part) and fully kicked the coffee and was able to kick the drugs there too.
Lastly, just taking small steps in a truly healthy direction (and not just a diet direction) I discovered that serotonin (the hormone that keeps us happy and balanced) is created in the gut. The healthier my gut became, namely with our digestion plus supplement (probiotic), the less I needed mood altering drugs.
A year into using Arbonne’s healthy living products, I was drug free.* But again, this was all just a happy side affect. It wasn’t the reason I started my health journey. And because it wasn’t ever the reason, I never stayed truly consistent. I made small changes- which have been wonderful- but I needed more. And I’m guessing, so do you.
What I’m getting at is, I’ve always had the HOW… I have just struggled with the WHY.
My motivation, every single time I’ve made a New Years Resolution, is to lose weight. I have it in my head that I want to look a certain way and fit into certain clothes and feel a certain way about myself. But the truth is, before I had kids, and my stomach was flat and my boobs were where they were supposed to be… I didn’t look or feel the way I wanted then either.
It will never be enough. Losing weight will never anchor me to true change, because I know that weight is a number that will forever be changing, and will never be representative of how I FEEL.
So I need to change the WHY.
Because I’ve been getting older every dang year, and this year in particular, I’ve been feeling like maybe I can’t just go around eating cheese like it’s its own food group, I’ve really been reflecting on why I can’t just hunker down and get healthy. I know I want to. I know I need to. I even know HOW to. And mostly, I KNOW I want my kids to learn good habits and eat all the different kinds of food that I don’t like. And I know I need to be the example. It starts with me…
So this year, I’m not losing weight! Well, that’s NOT going to be the reason I’m changing things anyway.
This year I’m going to ‘get healthy.’ Wait… I’m not going to ‘get healthy,’ I’m just going to ‘BE healthy.’ Because although losing weight may or may not happen for the rest of my dang life, the truth is… I’ve lived a lot of my life at this weight and it’s never held me back before. But if I wind up with a diagnosis that I could have avoided, or if I end up on medication for life, or if I end up going down a road that leads to cancer… well I’d imagine that that would most certainly hold me back.
You see, if I lose 10 lbs or if I don’t lose 10 lbs… there will always be next month, or next year to regroup and recommit. But if I lose my health…
Readers, your motivation to change this year, it can’t be something you can live without. WANTING is the lowest form of motivation. It’s not enough to WANT to make a change. You’ve got to anchor into a reason that’s so deep, that shakes you so honestly, that you can’t help but stay the course. And then you have to make a plan.
A lot of you might know that before Thanksgiving, in addition to continuing on my Arbonne supplements, I’ve also decided to take it a step further and go Paleo. Our family is working on converting together, because it has to start with me- I have to be the example- but if I don’t plan to succeed, I plan to fail. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m being healthy, and that includes my whole family. It’s not just about me.
Just like our Arbonne 30 days to healthy living, Paleo isn’t a diet so much as it’s a way of life. It’s a way of eating that allows your body to heal, while it prevents you from continuing the damage. I don’t just need to lose weight, I need to heal and prevent damage. I want time. I want life. I want health. They’re all one, aren’t they?
So if your goal is to ‘lose weight’ this year, I encourage you to dig a little deeper. WHY do you want to lose weight. What will it mean to you if you don’t? Maybe you need to abandon the fleeting fixes, and dive into true change. Find out why you want to, and then find a plan that works to solve the problem.
I know you can be in the 8%. I believe. I’ll see you on the other side.
*This is my personal testimony and not in any way a medical claim.